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Adrienne Gagnon, MA 2008 (Community Arts Education track), Execuitive Director of Downcity Design, was one of two individuals, the other Lynn Taylor, MD, to recently be awarded a 2013 Innovation Fellowship each worth $300,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation.


Adrienne Gagnon (right)

"Adrienne's project, Innovation by Design, will help foster the next generation of Rhode Island innovators by bringing the transformative tools of “design thinking” to students across the state. Her program will send out mobile design labs – repurposed from retired shipping containers – to parks, school yards, and vacant lots in Rhode Island’s core cities, and engage students in free, hands-on design programs that will improve our communities.

Adrienne envisions students working together to design and create structures, products, public awareness campaigns, and other interventions to strengthen their neighborhoods, while also gaining academic and life skills. The Innovation by Design project will develop an online, interactive design curriculum portal that will be available to all Rhode Island school districts, and will also offer a summer institute for teachers on using design thinking in classrooms."

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